Quick & Dirty
Genre(s): Comedy, drama, mystery, supernatural
Initial Interest: Low
Favorite Character: Sebastian
Likely to Finish: Did
One of the noble families of England—Phantomhive—has a butler, Sebastian Michaels. He has unquestionably perfect knowledge, manners, talent with materials, martial arts and much more. But for some reason, he serves a 12-year-old master…
This is once more my retroactive pre-viewing thoughts, as I watched the first disc for leisure and without preparing for the blog.
So Black Butler is one of those series that became so popular that I felt obligated to check it out. And for whatever reason they method I used to check it out was reading the manga. I went into the manga with no knowledge about the series aside from ‘everyone seems to like it’ so don’t judge me too harshly here. I hated it. I read the first chapter and was so bored I couldn’t justify reading further. Based on the first chapter the series was about a butler who was so perfect that nothing he ever had to do was a challenge. In the first chapter Ciel was having tea with someone important and everything that could go wrong went wrong but Sebastian still managed to make everything perfect in time without breaking a sweat. Why would anyone like this? So you can imagine how I felt going into the anime. Woohoo.
Sebastian. He’s cool, pretty, and maybe just a touch evil. Also he’s a demon pretending to be a butler who uses cutlery as a thrown weapon, what’s not to like?
What they did well: I don’t know if I just missed it in the manga or if it isn’t there, but the anime had one very important scene at the very beginning that made this series completely different from the very beginning, Ciel making a pact with a demon. Also the first episode contained a little more demon action than I remember the first chapter having. Black Butler is all about the plot. Since the synopsis above leaves… well a synopsis wanting, I’ll go ahead and sum up: Ciel is the heir to a wealthy toy-making family in England whose parents were murdered. He then made a pact with a demon to take revenge in exchange for his soul. It’s fascinating watching how Ciel’s story unfolds and there are plenty of mysteries in between. The artwork is fantastic.
What they didn’t do well: While there are several characters in this series the only ones that really matter much are Ciel and Sebastian. The rest seem to be side characters and aren’t likely to be all that important. Grell there came in in the 5th episode, he might be a villain in the future but it’s hard to say. That being said, there isn’t really a lot to Ciel and Sebastian. Ciel is grumpy and bored and as a character he’s not really that interesting; if you took away the mystery of his backstory and revenge he’d be boring. And Sebastian isn’t much better. He’s a loyal butler and awesome at everything he does. He’s a demon so there’s a certain air of mystery to him, but again, there’s not enough personality to carry a show.
Next official review: Still to be determined. Full review for Black Butler on the way.